Guest Post: Learning a Lesson

Posted by on March 5, 2013 in feminism, Gender roles, guest post, Mormon women, personal notes, priesthood | 33 comments

Guest Post by Jess

Jess is an unconventional leaf on a family tree that includes an unbelievably strong mother and two fantastic brothers. She is a PhD student in psychology. When she’s not doing school-ish things she likes to hike, knit, and bake…and then eat what she bakes. 

I normally love my calling teaching Gospel Doctrine in my singles ward. It is a great opportunity to really dig in and study, and to learn from my fellow ward members. But this year has been a struggle. Church history brings up a lot of feelings for me, and most of them are not positive. Things came to a head as I was preparing my latest lesson: The Restoration of the Priesthood. The more I read, the more upset I became.

First of all, the relationship between women and the priesthood is something I have been struggling with lately, and I still have not figured out where I stand. Teaching about something that one is unsure about and uncomfortable with is really hard. Second, the only time women were mentioned was in a section titled “Blessings of the priesthood for all people,” where the question was asked, “how can women and children benefit from the priesthood?”  (Infantilize women much?) There was not a single feminine pronoun in the whole lesson. The restoration of the priesthood was a big deal for everyone, not just men. Lucky for me, when I asked The Exponent’s own Spunky for help, she sent a ton of great resources, articles, and ideas of ways to balance things out. I went in to class on Sunday feeling well prepared and ready to teach.

Happily, my bishop does not insist that we stick to the lesson in the manual. In fact, he encourages us to follow the spirit in our lessons. So, I decided to focus on the importance of priesthood authority in terms of ordinances like baptism and the temple endowment.  Those are things that are important to all God’s children right?

I was hoping to get a conversation going about women and the priesthood.  It was a train wreck. After throwing a few feeler questions out to gauge where people stood, things devolved pretty quickly. There were a few people who had very traditional views, and were very vocal about it.  That would have been fine; respecting everyone’s input is important. The problem was that no one would listen to each other. Eventually someone played the priesthood = motherhood card. That brought up the issue of, “what about women who can’t have children?” Someone else argued that when women get married, they become a single unit with their husbands, so they ‘have’ the priesthood because their husbands do. (I could do a whole other post about the things that are upsetting about that argument.)

I countered by asking what that meant for women all the sisters in the ward? I mean, it is a singles ward.  Or what about women who never marry? Or women like my mother whose priesthood-holding husbands leave them, or who get divorced for other reasons? Or women who marry non-members? The best response anyone could come up with was, “Well, that’s what home teachers are for.” Um…in what conceivable way is being married equivalent to having home teachers? I can think of many things that would be uncomfortable asking a spouse for a blessing about, let alone the home teachers, assuming you actually know who is assigned to you.

The whole discussion bothered me for so many reasons. Motherhood is not the equivalent of priesthood; motherhood is the equivalent of fatherhood. Marriage does not equal priesthood any more than motherhood does. Marriage = being married. And having home teachers really does not equal having the priesthood. (I mean, really dude?…I’m still in shock over that one.) Also, every argument in favor of male-only priesthood makes women’s access to imperative saving ordinances contingent on having a worthy priesthood holder around who is willing to exercise that priesthood on her behalf. Not to mention the misguided men out there who use their priesthood to exercise unrighteous dominion (a phrase that I hate; when is dominion of one human being over another ever righteous?) over their families.

 

All of this excludes, or at the very least distances, so many wonderful and amazing women from having access to the blessings of our Heavenly Parents. I cannot believe that the kind, loving, caring, Heavenly Father and Mother that I have come to know would want to restrict their daughters access to even the smallest blessing of comfort or healing just because some home teacher isn’t doing his job.

 

Most importantly the conversation was symptomatic of a wider issue happening in the church as a whole. I honestly have not decided whether or not I think women should have the priesthood; I haven’t figured out what the role of women and the priesthood should be. I’m not trying to pick fights, or look for flaws in the Church, or bring people to ‘my side’ (whatever that is). I was hoping that this lesson would give me the chance to hear other people’s perspectives, because I genuinely want to understand. But all I got was the same bad logic, the same rote responses, and the same defensiveness that always come up when someone suggests unorthodox ideas, or hints that all is not perfect in Mormondom. Among some church members, there is a rigid inflexibility of thought that keeps us from perspective taking, and empathizing with the concerns of others.

What is it about our culture/tradition/doctrine that makes us so afraid of unorthodoxy?

Why is taking a hard look at our beliefs so aversive?

Why can’t we have open, honest, and compassionate dialogue that lets us find deep, meaningful answers together?

(As an aside, I struggle with teaching lessons when I am not sure how I feel about the information I am supposed to present, or when I down right disagree. How do you handle situations like this? How do you present information you disagree (or are uncomfortable) with? Is Sunday school an appropriate place to bring up your concerns, or is it better to just stick to the prescribed lesson? How can we, as teachers or class members, balance the expression of diverse opinions, including both our own and those we disagree with?)

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33 Comments

  1. I appreciate your honest post, because I can identify with so much of it–the teaching and the unsettled feelings. I am so sorry the discussion in your lesson did not go so well.

    Before I moved here six months ago, I taught Relief Society once a month. On occasion, I would get the type of lesson you describe and be both angry and terrified of how to teach it. I would pour out my heart in prayer begging for help. I did not want to be angry or speculative while teaching the lesson, but I also did not want to lie or espouse and further an idea I did not believe. Everytime, I was able to find an angle of the lesson I did believe, I focused on that, I let the discussion develop as it would, and things worked out. I was always so grateful when the lessons ended and I was okay and the sisters were okay and somehow my testimony of some little tiny part of the lesson was as strong or stronger. But, then I still lived in terror of any lessons coming down the pipeline that were problematic for me.

    I was really shocked when I was called to be a Sunbeam teacher in my new ward. Me with 3-year-olds? That couldn’t be right. But, this was the right time for me to have a break–both from teaching adult lessons and, actually, from being in class, probably. I really miss the adult religious discussions, but I am relieved sometimes too. I am not hiding from the topics. On the contrary, I am thinking a lot about them. But at least I am not angered by some of the types of responses that you mention. I have time to ponder these things in my heart. For me, now, that is good.

    But, I have a teenage daughter. We talk honestly. I want answers. I want more “fullness of the gospel.” For me. For her. For all of us (men and women). Like you, I don’t actually know what that is, but I think there is much more than we know. How do we receive greater understanding? How do we ask for greater light and knowledge? I don’t know, and I want to know. (Sorry, your post opened a floodgate for me, it seems.)

    Unbelievably, I even have trouble preparing some of the Sunbeam lessons! Luckily, their attention spans are so short that I am doing good to get the basic idea communicated to them. I guess I really am in the right place for me at the right time. Who knew?

    • Thanks Kate! I can completely believe having trouble with the sunbeam lessons! I taught sunbeams for almost 4 years…it can be tough.
      I’m glad that others out there can relate.

  2. I love this post, Jess! You ask really important questions. I think what strikes me the most about finding a compassionate answer together. How interesting it would be if the entire church was asked to fast and pray about women and the priesthood, rather than a few select leaders asking the masses to pray for a witness that the answer they received is correct?

    That whole thing smacks of Catholicism to me. And whilst I respect much of Catholic ideology, the whole concept of praying to Mary so that she can pray to God on my behalf just does not suit me. And yet, this is what, we are Mormons do as well. A select few proclaim a witness to church policy, and we are asked to pray for the same witness as a matter of compliance. I understand that there needs to be a designated leader who seeks for answers, but the whole structure of the church dismisses the masses- particularly women- from being privy to the position to receive revelation.

    I think this is what happens in these types of discussions– the debate is skewed to “supporting the prophet/church policy” rather than seeking for shared enlightenment. It becomes an oxymormon of Mormon revelatory ideology, which is very, very troubling.

    • Thanks Spunky! And thanks for your encouragement through this whole process. I agree, the debate is skewed in the direction of the status quo, which creates this weird paradox. I’m not sure what the answer is, but we can keep looking for it! :)

  3. So I do think that women should be ordained to the priesthood and here’s why: I think that Heavenly Mother has the priesthood. How can you be part of God and not have the power of God? I believe that Heavenly Mother has the power of God, which we call the priesthood. If that is true, then someday exalted women will hold the priesthood. And if we get to hold it in the next life, why can’t we practice holding it in this life.

    We can’t engage in a meaningful dialogue about this because everyone clings to their cliche answers and people generally aren’t willing to consider new ideas. Considering new ideas outside of the structure of orthodoxy is not something that the church encourages. We have built a culture of yes-people (like yes-men, but gender neutral).

    • You bring up some interesting points about Heavenly Mother.

      I was talking to a friend about this the other night, and she was saying she thinks that the way the priesthood is instantiated here is just one variant of it. Priesthood means the power of God…to limit that to the way it is structured now is to put limits on God’s power. The truth is, it’s not clear how things will shake out in eternity.

  4. Jess,

    I sympathize with you. I am a married Melchizedek Priesthood holder and I found your post while struggling with the same lesson I have to give this coming Sunday. I had a difficult time with the lack of reference to anything female or feminine.

    I also hate to speak too much about the duties of the priesthood in section 20 because it will sound hypocritical and false when home teaching is about 30 percent in our ward. That means 2/3 of the ladies don’t have home teachers they trust or could rely on.

    I have wondered how a discussion on women and the priesthood might go. Oddly enough the best ideas I have so far came from the R.S. Book Daughters in my Kingdom.

    The hardest thing about this issue is there is no reason given why women don’t have the priesthood. Because we don’t know the reason there is all kinds of speculation that just makes things worse.

    • I am thrilled to hear from a male member who is studying Daughters in my Kingdom. The book isn’t perfect, but it is still the best official resource we have in the church to study women’s history, and many of our other texts ignore the contributions of women altogether. Good for you! Beginning this Thursday, we are going to be posting a series of posts about Daughters in my Kingdom. I hope you will join the discussion.

    • Huzzah for men like you, Anonymous!

      It’s so sad that more men don’t take their home teaching duties seriously. Thankfully, my family had had the same home teacher for about 3 years before my dad left my mom. They had been the only home teachers we ever had that came, so they had a good relationship with all of us and my mom felt comfortable asking them for help. I don’t know what she would have done had they not been there. Unfortunately, this is the exception and not the rule.

      I agree that the speculation surrounding this topic makes it hard to figure out.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. I admire your courage in addressing controversial topics. I wish I didn’t, but I don’t teach the things I am uncomfortable with. I find part that I like and run with it. I rarely have time for the whole lesson anyway, so I go with my strength.

    And here’s a shout out for Mormon Stories Sunday School Engaging Gospel Doctrine. Great less-orthodox resource, especially for those lessons that are more… Difficult.

    • Great suggestions, thank you Moss! I will definitely check that out.

      • Yes, I was going to suggest Mormon Stories Sunday School Engaging Gospel Doctrine. It is AWESOME. I teach the 14-15yo class, and our curriculum is much different, but I will use many of the things I’ve been learning from Jared Anderson in Engaging Gospel Doctrine. Can’t recommend it enough!

  6. First, major high five to you for having the guts to get a discussion going on this difficult topic – even if it was a little strained.

    You asked how you teach things you are uncomfortable with. My short answer is that I don’t teach anyrthing I can’t authentically get behind. If I’m not into how the lesson manual puts something (which happens literally every time I teach, at some level), I ask the class questions. For example in my ward’s lesson on the restoration of the priestood, I asked this question (I wasn’t teaching, but I asked the question in response to a question the teacher asked -it made sense at the time):

    Section 46 lists spiritual gifts like prophecy, healing, faith to be healed, speaking in tongues, and others, but it doesn’t say any of those gifts are associated with priesthood. How does that work if in our modern church many of them are associated with priesthood?

    It got a wonderful discussion going. One person said he thinks it’s like the gift of the Holy Ghost and the experience of the Holy Ghost -everyone has the latter, but the former is by the laying on of hands. He said he thinks of priesthood as being about ordinances, but spiritual gifts are for everyone. Another person said she thinks of priesthood as having a big P and a little p. She said she believes she can be a priestess with a little p, meaning a disciple, a giver of gifts, a person who calls on divine power, with the big P being an administrative power for specific things. Another person said he thinks priesthood is everywhere, channeled in different ways by different people.

    At least in my ward, there’s a diversity of opinion that can be elicited with the right questions. Then as a teacher I can dodge the pieces of orthodoxy I just can’t authentically teach.

    Double shout-out for Mormon Stories Sunday School Engaging Gospel Doctrine. BCC also has Gospel Doctrine lesson posts that are worth reading.

    Best wishes in your journey contemplating priesthood. I’m contemplating it too, and coming more and more to the conclusion that there’s no reason why LDS women shouldn’t be ordained, and lots of positive reasons why they should.

    • Thanks! I really like the idea of approaching it from the vantage point of spiritual gifts. And I love the analogy of big P vs. little p…hmm…things to ponder!

  7. I believe that the reason all of the usual explanations for why women don’t have the priesthood are so weak is because there really isn’t a good reason to withhold the priesthood from women.

    How would a comment like that go over in Sunday School?

    • Haha, in my ward, not well apparently.

  8. I have a testimony of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church and its leaders act under direction of its head, Jesus Christ. The manuals produced by the church were approved and written by the churches leaders and thus Christ. “Whether by my own voice, or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” If one has a problem with the way the church is being run, with the way manuals are written, or the way revelation is received, then that person should re-evaluate their testimony of the Savior.

    • So much for compassionate dialogue, my brother :(

      I offer this advice sincerely: you will get farther with people when you stop attacking them personally.

      Second, my testimony of my Savior is my business, just as yours is yours.

      Third, a testimony of the Savior and a testimony of the church are separate issues. My dearest friend is a non-denominational Christian. She has the most amazing faith in Christ, and is the most Christ-like person of anyone I have ever met (LDS people included). Are you saying that her testimony of the Savior is somehow less valid because she doesn’t believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

      Matthew 7:1-2

      • Yikes, Zach–you’re violating comment policy #4, “Try to stick with your personal experiences, ideas, and interpretations. This is not the place to question another’s personal righteousness, to call people to repentance, or to disrespectfully refute people’s personal religious beliefs.”

        You’ll be put in moderation if you continue to do this.

      • OK, I guess I came off a bit more blunt than I intended.
        First, in no way am I saying that your friend who belongs to a non-denominational church has a less valid testimony of Christ. I do believe that she could have an even more fulfilling and beautiful relationship with Him if she had the fullness of His gospel and access to the saving ordinances that his atonement made possible.
        Second, all I was trying to say was that in my experience, I’ve found that a much more advantageous way of learning and growing would be to take some time to study and learn for yourself why our ordained leaders do things the way they do rather than get upset about it. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know exactly why women aren’t ordained to the priesthood, but I’m sure there is a reason and if it’s important to you to find out why, Heavenly Father will guide you in an earnest search for the truth.

  9. I guess this was a thought-provoking lesson for many; see the discussion at 9 Moons.

    However, the difference I see between that report and yours is that he listened with open ears. The questions listed above make the assumption that women who don’t share your concerns are mindless sheep, who are afraid of unorthodoxy and averse to taking a hard look at their religion. Is it not possible that they might have gone through a long thoughtful process, share their current outlook, but those ideas are dismissed as “traditional” or “playing a card”?

    I agree these are hard things to understand. Why would a God with a brain in his/her head make two genders with so many perplexing differences? Why not just simplify things by making us all alike? But it does make for interesting times.

    Although I don’t have easy answers for all of your questions, I can say that a major issue that made me feel better about the way the church is run is the concept of “servant leadership” that I ran across in grad school, I think. Some major corporations are run with this kind of thinking, and it seems to be the basis of church leadership, exemplified by Christ, who never used the priesthood for his own gain but only to bless other people. That is the kind of leadership that the church teaches, it is NOT the idea of a man having power over a woman.

    “motherhood is the equivalent of fatherhood.”

    This is a lie. And it is a very anti-woman statement.

    First, it dismisses the sacrifices of women in making their body available to a parasite for 9 months, the pain of childbirth, and the many physical effects (which for many include death). And the demands of nursing a baby. Of course the reality of that impact varies from woman to woman, but one can understand why the church might suggest men be the providers, supporting the women who carry out the crucial business of bringing spirits to earth that they may fulfill the probation.

    Second, it denies the empowerment given to mothers in the PotF. While husbands and wives are to be equal partners in marriage, it is she, not he, who has the primary responsibility for nurturing the children. That means that as couples struggle to reconcile their differences of opinion regarding childrearing issues (which actually is a huge percent of the interactions for couples in that stage) , that her voice has particular weight.

    I actually don’t have a strong view one way or another about women having the priesthood. I can see some of the benefits, but I also see the many benefits of the current system.

    But I can tell you that I resent being dismissed as a traditional sheep. There is pain on all sides, and compassion needed in all directions.

    I wasn’t in Gospel Doctrine; I teach Primary. And I am happy to say that the lesson on the witnesses of the gold plates included the story of Mary Whitmer.

    • I apologize if I made you feel dismissed. That was not my intent at all. And I am glad that you were able to come to a resolution in your personal struggle. Please understand that I am still in the middle of the process. Please understand, too, that I have also felt dismissed, and my struggle has been brushed aside. I will try next time to make it clearer that I respect all views.

      And I agree, that the church’s actual teachings are not necessarily the problem. What IS a very real problem is that not everyone, men and women, live them. Too often they get twisted into excuses for men to dominate women. It breaks my heart when such sacred gospel principles are used in such a wrong way. I am just trying to figure out how to keep that from happening.

    • Wow the idea that pregnancy, which is a matter of luck and biology, is the same as priesthood discounts the experience of so many of our sisters that there really isn’t space to refute that.
      Like you, I appreciate how the church does make holy some of the drudgery of pregnancy etc. I find it really troubling that you think mothers somehow outrank fathers. Sorry but I want my husband to be engaged in parenting our children. That means I get to try my hardest not to pull rank when we have a dispute on chilren. The proclamation to the family is problematic at best, and your statenents suggest a maritial relationship where each partner gets to dominate the opinion of another at one time or another. I don’t want that relationship. I want us to get to discuss our differences and come to a compromise so that my children can truly benefit from having two children. If you want to live in a relationship where you get to shut your spouse down, that is your choice, but I cant imagine God sanctioning such lack of marital respect.
      Pregnancy and parenting both require the input of mother and father. I am not given the right by God to create a seperation between father and child that isn’t there.

      • *benefit of having two parents. Typing on a kindle is brutal

      • Um, I never said that pregnancy is the same as priesthood. I only addressed the proposition that motherhood = fatherhood. Those two equations are independent of one another; one equation being false does not make the other true–it does not affect the other at all.

        “…your statenents suggest a maritial relationship where each partner gets to dominate the opinion of another at one time or another.”

        I wouldn’t say “dominate.” I said has more weight. Many couples find that they give one partner more weight in a particular discussion based on who has more expertise, who has more interest, who will be more affected, etc. When it comes to finance and investing, my voice has more weight because of my expertise and experience in that area. When it comes to electrical wiring, I will state my opinion but probably defer to my husband, who has more experience and does excellent work.

        Our discussions are always respectful, and we view our roles as complementary, and strengthened by the synergy of our talents. But if we cannot otherwise come to an agreement, he defers to me on some parenting things, recognizing that I have primary responsibility for nurturing our children.

        Of course with most times we can talk until we reach consensus, but that is not always possible. One of those occasions was when I felt strongly that one of my daughters would be giving birth to her first child early. More than two weeks early. He thought I was crazy, and warned that I would be sitting up there for weeks waiting, since first babies are so often late. But I knew, and he respected that. I raced around, going into my paid job all Saturday to clean off my desk and get ahead, and he subbed for my class on Sunday. I arrived at my daughter’s house in time for dinner on Sunday. The next morning before dawn, her water broke. My presence made a huge difference in helping her negotiate with the hospital for the kind of birth that she wanted. And then I spent two long days cleaning out her apartment, because they were moving to a larger place before the baby came. A lot of people ended up being very happy that I came so early.

    • However, the difference I see between that report and yours is that he listened with open ears. The questions listed above make the assumption that women who don’t share your concerns are mindless sheep, who are afraid of unorthodoxy and averse to taking a hard look at their religion.

      Can you hear yourself blog, Naismith? You feel like you’re being called a “mindless sheep,” but your first comment is to say that Jess doesn’t listen with “open ears”? So you’re calling her a prideful armadillo, right?

  10. “What is it about our culture/tradition/doctrine that makes us so afraid of unorthodoxy?”

    I’m equally perplexed about this question, mostly, because this church claims that it values honesty and welcomes questioning people, yet, on the other hand seems to squelch the ideas of people who are questioning ( mostly by employing tactics such as emotional and spiritual abuse) and by saying people don’t have enough faith.. I see this tactic employed across the board, even by those who many here admire. So, I’m just left stymied

  11. I have not had the time to read all the comments to this post but here is my strategy when it comes to discussing this issues or even teaching them. I like to expose people to the diversity of ideas/thoughts that exist out there. When I ask them question, I never ask “What do you think on such and such issue?” because people will be all over the place with their emotions and stands. Members have not had a way of talking about sensitive issues in a mature way – in class discussing ideas of what makes sense without being afraid of how far from the church policy we are going in this discussion. I try to ask very simple and direct questions like the Socrates method – using questions to break down how people understand things and to find the flaws in them or strengths.

    Even though the membership in our church is made of quite a considerate group of educated people, very few are open minded and by this I mean to have the intellectual confidence and the intellectual eloquence to engage in a debate for the sake of discovering what makes sense without worrying of “supporting the brethren”. The think is, God doesn’t appreciate blinded obedience like we preach it. He wants free thinkers that CHOOSE to feel and understand the truths rather than cowards who just want to get exalted.

  12. Awesome post, Jess. I so respect your courage in bringing up these very important questions. Unlike Naismith, I didn’t read you as being dismissing or condescending at all. And I heartily 100% endorse the idea that motherhood is indeed the equivalent of fatherhood. The priesthood=motherhood analogy is problematic on many many different levels.

  13. Thanks so much for sharing a vulnerable and difficult experience, Jess. I appreciate your candor and willingness to engage in conversation.

    I think we won’t have these open and compassionate dialogues until people on both sides are willing to listen to each other with love and respect. Your ability to do this on Sunday is just the sort of example we need.

  14. Jess, I am so glad you shared your experience here. It was particularly interesting for me to read your difficulty in teaching the lesson, as it was (very recently) difficult for me to sit through it.

    The teacher chose to ask men and only men questions for the majority of the lesson. The first time he opened it up happened to be when he asked the very question about women and children that you mentioned. At that point my friend leaned over to me and whispered, “Here we go!”

    It got interesting when an older gent said something like, “I heard that women used to give healing blessings.” I jumped on that opportunity to say, “Yes. Yes they did, with consecrated oil and the laying on of hands.” I also mentioned that many of those women were set apart to do so, or specifically encouraged/commanded in their Patriarchal Blessings, as well as specific women, like Phoebe Woodruff who healed her husband, President Woodruff, and Lucy Mack Smith, who was a known healer.

    As far as teaching things that are tricky for us: Like some of the other commenters, I try not to do it, as much as possible. Last year I was my ward’s sole Gospel Doctrine teacher, so taught a lot of the war lessons. Every one was hard for me. I would always remind the class of the Anti-Nephi-Lehites (turned Ammonites) who buried their weapons of war for peace, and that there was another way. Then in whatever chapter (or chapters) we were going through, I would emphasize the more spiritual scriptures, or try to give well known verses a different take. For example, in teaching about the Army of Helaman, who were young and sent to war, I focused on the famous scripture about how they all survived, and said that is not the impressive thing, or the truth we can take away the most. The truth that I focused on was that they were all wounded, everyone, and that we too will be wounded, emotionally, spiritually, physically, but we too can be healed.

  15. I feel like I don’t have anything grand to contribute after reading the post itself and the many wonderful comments after, but I did want to comment to say I fully agree with the author.

    I find myself sitting through Sunday School, more times than not, wanting to scream. I have a really hard time buying into the idea that God gave men the priesthood and He gave women motherhood and those are our roles. Period. Quit asking.

    I could state a billion reasons why I don’t agree with it (and you covered many of them), but I think for me, the few that are most personal in *my* life are that I’m 34, I’m (gasp) NOT married, I do not have children, etc. If *my* God-appointed role in life is to be a wife/mother why am I not? I have a hard time believing in a one-size-fits-all role and I have an even harder time believing that God believes in that either. Plus, not all men can have the priesthood. So, that kills that theory too.

    Plus, I grew up in a home where I had an inactive father who “didn’t honor his priesthood” and I never — no, not once — had a father’s blessing before the start of any of my school years. But, I somehow made it through and ended up with a Master’s. My point is: it doesn’t matter if your husband has the priesthood or not in your home (other than it may be “nice”). Is he a good man, does he love his wife/children, is he a hard worker, etc.? That’s what makes a man a good man. And the idea that a Home Teacher could even attempt to fulfill those roles is ridiculous.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, ESCC. This illustrates why dialogue needs to be open and compassionate.

      (Are those your initials? My daughter has the same ones :) )

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